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We should consider a few points here before we jump to that conclusion. Firstly, we have cases like Enoch and Elijah who were taken by the Lord in a sudden nature, Elijah in particular being carried away into heaven in a very spectacular manner Genesis ; 2 Kings But this presents a serious, twofold problem.
For one, this would not be consistent in the very argument made by those who declare that the cross had to be accomplished before the faith of Old Testament saints could be honored. Secondly, and more importantly, it fails to reflect the just nature of the Lord.
Why would a few individuals be taken to heaven while others needed to await Calvary? Were these cases just worthier while others were not? Again, not the message we derive from the Bible. All possessions could be lost in this passage the rewards of the believer but the life of the individual survives the eternal life of the believer. Some of you may disagree with me, and I would sincerely like to hear your thoughts on this subject in either case. By faith.
This was long before the cross happened in time. And faith in God and His work is the only requirement the Lord ever places on man. The human body grows old and dies because of the curse God pronounced on the earth following Adam's sin in Genesis 3. The material God used to construct the human body came "from the ground," according to Genesis 2, therefore, the curse on the earth also condemned the human body to die, since the body is part of the earth.
As the earth goes, so goes our physical body. To learn more about this principle, please listen to our Genesis study. While the human body is temporary and eventually dies and disintegrates, the human spirit also called the soul is eternal. Our spirit is never "asleep" as some teach incorrectly and it was designed to exist within a physical body.
Therefore, after a person's body dies, the person's spirit will exist somewhere in full consciousness yet without a body until a future day of resurrection, when God gives each spirit a new, permanent body. At the point of death, a person's spirit will experience different outcomes depending on whether the person was a saint i.
For the Christian who dies today, his or her spirit moves directly from the body at the moment of death into Christ's presence in the Heavenly throne room escorted by angels, according to Jesus in Luke As Paul explains: 2Cor. Our physical body is the material, temporary part of our existence, so Paul says it is only a temporary home for our spirit, which is the eternal part of us.
Our spirit occupies our body for a time, but when our body dies, our spirit moves to our next home to be present with the Lord if we are a believer into the throne room of God. Paul goes on in 2Corinthians to tell us more about that moment: 2Cor. After our physical body dies, Paul says we appear before the judgment seat of the Lord in spirit form to receive our rewards for service to the Lord.
Prior to Jesus' death and resurrection, the process for a saint operated differently. A story told by Jesus in Luke 16 give us the definitive Biblical account of life after death prior to the resurrection of the Messiah. Prior to Christ's death and resurrection, the souls of Old Testament saints could not go directly to heaven at the moment of death, since the atonement of Christ had yet to be made on the cross.
Though these saints were saved by their faith, the sacrifice to cleanse their sin had not yet been made by Christ. Because of their faith they were not due to receive a penalty for their sin, but because Christ had not yet died for them, they had not yet been cleansed from sin. Therefore, God made a special provision for these Old Testament saints in the time before Christ.
God held the souls of saints in a place of comfort, euphemistically called Abraham's Bosom, where they were waiting until Christ's appearing. Abraham's Bosom was the "good" side of a place called Sheol in the Old Testament.
In this third destination in the afterlife, people would souls would wander aimlessly. The people neither lived good nor bad lives, by the Greek definition of them. They would wander in a somewhat dreamlike state for all eternity. As for other religions, Hinduism and Buddhism have a variant form of purgatory.
Neraka or Naraka depending on which of the two religions exists as a holding place for the soul in between life cycles and reincarnations. The Scriptural idea of Gehenna, in the Judaism sense, could also fit some of the molds of purgatory. The Bible often describes this place as a place of refinement, as going through the fire.
But theologians have broiled the concept of Gehenna in debate ranging from purgatory to hell itself. In either case, we follow Christianity and not other religions. Even if other belief systems have similar concepts, we need to analyze what Scripture says and follow accordingly. Therefore, let's discuss the support and opposition to the concept of purgatory within the Christian faith.
We'll also touch on some of the history of this concept. What Scriptures Appear to Support Purgatory? This idea has existed for centuries. Most commonly, a person who believes in purgatory will point to scriptures that talk about the refinement process, for instance: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad 2 Corinthians Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny Matthew If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved — even though only as one escaping through the flames 1 Corinthians In the Apocrypha , we also run into a number of scriptures that support the idea of purgatory.
We should note that most denominations do not believe the verses found in the Apocrypha to exist as part of the biblical canon. And therefore, we should exercise caution when reading these passages. Verses in the Apocrypha that support the idea of purgatory include 2 Maccabees which includes prayers and indulgences to help guide souls out of purgatory.
But this passage has broiled itself in debate for millennia. What Is the Support Against Purgatory? Many denominations do not support the idea or doctrine of purgatory. But why? Do they simply not like the idea of purgatory? Or do they have support for their reasons not to believe in it?
One could point to the fact that the refinement process described in the verses above represents sanctification , an ongoing process of purification a Christian receives during their life to become more like Christ. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. This remains true throughout the Old Testament.
Even though Hell is referred to 31 times in the New King translation , 3 times in the literal translation of the Holy Bible, and not at all in most other tanslations. And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Kings Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. Psalm Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; After the death of Jesus and his resurrection we find that most assuredly those who have died and no longer have the opportunity to accept salvation, that they are most assuredly sent to different places.
Jesus sid Matthew and 22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Purgatory. A place between Heaven and Hell, where the soul is not bad enough to be sent to an eternity of damnation in Hell, but not good enough to go to Heaven, so it is sent there . The place between heaven and hell is EARTH. Both of terms "heaven" and "hell" are loaded with mythological baggage that is not biblical. In the bible, the heavens are always plural. The doctrine holds that Hades has two "compartments", one an unnamed place of torment, the other named Abraham's Bosom. Luke – speaks of a chasm fixed between the two .